Human Resources Planning and Employee Relations – Acute Care Hospital

Week 10 Assignment 3 530 Assignment Instructions 

Building on the work that you completed in Assignment 2, continue evaluating the role of functions HR in creating a set of Human Resources’ policies and procedures for the acute care hospital.

Write a five to six (5-6) page paper in which you:

  • Explain the importance of maintaining accurate and objective employee records, indicating the consequences that may result from lack of record keeping. Provide support for your rationale.
  • Provide an example of formal and an example of informal documentation that would normally be maintained in an employee file, indicating how each is likely to protect an employer.
  • Determine the most significant factor that will ensure an effective legal termination, indicating the most likely way employees can protect themselves from termination in a downsizing situation. Provide support for your rationale.
  • Analyze two (2) major challenges that today’s health care leaders face in trying to uphold the ethics of critique, justice, and caring, indicating how managers can balance the need for ethics with employee and organizational needs.
  • Create a detailed outline of an effective succession planning process that will help ensure a smooth transition as members of the management team at your organization begin to retire. (The plan should prescribe, at a minimum, how to identify employees for advancement, training and development programs, mentorships, and a timeline for preparing leaders for their role.)
  • From both a management and employee perspective, justify or dispute unionization. Provide support for your rationale.
  • Suggest the best way in which HR can continue to be an effective strategic partner in helping this organization achieve its future goals. Provide support for your rationale.

Use at least three (3) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not qualify as academic resources.

HSA 530 Week 10 Assignment 3 Sample Answer

Importance of Maintaining Accurate and Objective Employee Records and Consequences of Lack of Record Keeping

Keeping accurate and objective employee records is necessary for any organization including an acute care centre. Accurate employee records increase the efficiency of employee recruitment. It also boosts on training and development for better service delivery. Accurate records also come in handy whenever a particular employee needs to be promoted. The scrutiny of records of the employee being considered for promotion can show whether he or she matches the level of competency needed or matches the selection criteria for promotion. Keeping records of individual competencies and skills help the acute hospital identify any opportunities to match requirements or improve skills. For example, if the care setting needs to computerize their services, a scrutiny of staff records could show that there are certain employees with computer knowledge and hence they can be trainedto fill the new positions. It is also crucial that the personnel files be accurate since at the end of the day they are about people hence it is important that nothing is mixed up or the records are reliable (Stephen Robins, 2012). Knowledge that personnel records are kept secure contributes to better working relationships since everyone will know what records are kept and why. In the event that that is not observed, there may be bad blood between employees. That helps promote good treatment that is fair and consistent. When there is no bad blood between employees, there is improved teamwork and consequently better delivery of services (McConnell, 2005). It is however important that when developing an employee’s records system, the staff and their representatives are consulted. This supports the acute hospital work towards the best workable system for their needs.

Formal and Informal Documentation Maintained in an Employee File

Different types of documentation can be included in the employee file to allow either the employer or employee to preserve written records of discussions or happenings that occur around a particular event. This documentation can either be formal or informal. These types of documentation can include such records as employment applications, application materials such as resumes, background checks and cover letters, written employment references, disciplinary records, details of terms and conditions of employment, employment history with the organization, absence details, and details of any accidents connected with work and details of termination of employment amongst other (Spector, 2012). A good example of formal documentation is a record of employee disciplinary action. Accurate records of disciplinary action can enable an employer to take an employee’s record fully into account when deciding what type of action to take when there is a breach of rules. It also helps management to be fair and consistent hen applying disciplinary rules. This type of documentation can protect an employer if he decides to terminate an employee’s employment based on disciplinary issues. The records can provide evidence if a particular former employee claims in a court of law or an employment tribunal that he or she has been wrongfully or unfairly dismissed. Informal documentation is mostly applicable when a manager records the discussions held with the employee over the course of a year. When this documentation is maintained, it can serve as evidence at a later date or event. For instance, managers can hold one on one interviews with the employees for promotion’s sake. An employee could later claim that he or she as discriminated against but if there were documented records of the interview, an employer could defend their grounds for promotion.

Significant Factor that will Ensure an Effective Legal Termination

The most significant factor for an effective legal termination is employee behavior. Behavior related factors that could lead to a legal termination include gross misconduct, tardiness and absenteeism, unsatisfactory performance, changed job requirements, lack of ability or poor qualifications (McConnell, 2005).

Read also Concept of Progressive Discipline and Importance of Effective Termination Procedure

An employer can hence terminate a worker based on unacceptable behavior. An employer can also dismiss an employee when there is a downsizing situation, for instance, when a business slowdown occurs or when some positions are no longer necessary. Nevertheless, workers can protect themselves from termination in such situations. For instance if an employer dismisses an employee, when there was an insinuated promise in existence, then the employer can be liable for violation or breach of implied contracts. Take, for example, a scenario of an employer who conveyed to the worker that he will have long term employment to lure him into taking the job. He would, therefore, be held liable for terminating the employment of the worker. An implied contract could emanate from policy manuals, interviews or long term and constant patterns of behavior between the employer and employee. Thus, an employer could protect himself in a downsizing situation by ensuring that his job is protected or guaranteed and documented either verbally or in writing.

Balancing the need for Ethics with Employee and Organizational Need

The ethics of care takes the position that relationships and responsibilities are far important than obligations and rights or outcome. Ethics of justice, on the other hand, is majorly focused on the concept of the right to health care. Ethics in health care focuses more on the life of the patient and health care professionals are required to uphold these ethics. However, while trying to uphold these ethics of critique, justice and caring, at times health leaders can be faced with particular challenges. For instance while trying to put the patient above everything else, the health leader could push his team to unexpected extremes such as unexpected schedule changes and shift work resulting to overload. That mainly happens when a hospital is understaffed. In as much as the leader’s sole interest is in the patient receiving comprehensive care, the staff could end up feeling unappreciated and, as a result, dissatisfied with their work. Another challenge the leaders could face is professional versus patient relationships in the care setting. At all times, the relationship between the patient and professional has to be good so that the patient can feel secure and able to trust in the professional. When there are issues with management and unfavorable conditions at the workplace, the staff could feel under motivated and hence lack the incentive to create a much needed caring environment. In the interest of both the employees and the patients, the health leader, therefore, must strike a balance between the organization’s and the employees’ needs. If, for instance, there is a shortage in the hospital, the healthcare manager should ensure that more employees are added. If the health care leader identifies that the shortage is occurring due to lack of adequate worker retention incentives or a disillusioned workforce, the leader should focus on inspiring, motivating, empowering and inspiring the team. In the case of conflict between management and nurses, a health leader should try and be an advocate for the group, act on behalf of the group, all the while striving toward mutual tolerance and cohesion consequently achieving a workable unity (McConnell, 2005). A health care leader should also always try to revisit and revitalize the purposes, beliefs, value and vision that the group shares. This way, the leader will bridge the gap between employee need and organizational need by making the employees feel cared for and appreciated.

Unionization From a Management and Employee Perspective

Unionization essentially refers to the process of organizing the employees of an organization (an acute hospital in this case) into a labor union that acts as an intermediary between the employees and the management. Labor unions are associations of wage earners or secondary organizations that represent organized workers. From both management and employee perspectives, it would appear that think labor unions are justified. In my opinion, labor unions seek to improve or maintain the best working conditions, as well as influence employer’s attitude to workers and workers as a collective bargaining force. It would also seem that labor unions are an excellent way of resolving disputes or conflicts through negotiating collective agreements.

Read also Labor Laws That Have Shaped the Present Union Management Relationships

Unionization is fair for both management and employee as the process of negotiation always involves a certain amount of preparation and planning after which ground rules are defined. If there as any agreement that had been made in writing between the employer and the labor union on behalf of the employees, this agreement is revisited. This agreement could contain provisions that reflect the terms and conditions of the workers employment hence making it easier to defend their privileges, rights and responsibilities (Raines, 2013). After the ground rules are established, the rules are then clarified and justified to avoid any misinterpretations. This process hence rules out any unfair treatment to either side, and only the best bargaining strategy is chosen to solve the problem. Therefore, I believe that trade unions only serve to fix whatever problem exists between management and employee thus it is justified.

Read also Labor Laws, Unionization, and the Workplace – Verizon Strike Of 2016

Effective Succession Planning Process

An effective succession planning process maps the landscape of the organization, prepares for any contingencies and minimizes any disputes that could occur. In order to enable change that is orderly and ensure continuity, an organization, therefore, needs to;

  • Build a solid association foundation-This should happen long before the succession date. A solid foundation ensures that the foundation has strong roots for growth and development
  • Co-develop the retirees exit strategy- A sound system should always begin with a vision of the desired outcome. The organizational leaders should co-develop a stable framework, which serves as a blueprint for effectively navigating the challenges of exits and integrations of outgoing and incoming employees (McConnell, 2005). Senior management should always be in support of the succession planning process and try to also be involved with the process. As much as possible succession planning should be “owned” by all staff to a certain extent.

Read also Succession Planning and Its Importance to Organizational Vitality

  • Minimizing the risks-The succession plan should include a risk- related component that ensures that the organization and its staff are protected from any risks that may arise such as accidents or illnesses. There should be proper legal documentation in place to this effect, such as insurance policies or stakeholder agreements
  • Strengthening Systems and Processes- To this effect, the organization should build the leadership skills of the successor, plan the retention and development of key persons, create an efficient organizational structure, document systems and procedures to support effective knowledge transfer and create efficiencies, implement an effective strategic planning process and hire and train the best possible staff for continued organizational success (Stephen Robins, 2012)

Read also The Process of Succession Planning

  • Transitioning the Leadership- While transitioning the leadership, gaps should be identified between the existing talent pool and the required employee competencies. The organization should decide if an external search is required or if there are certain employees who need to be promoted to take up the new positions. The selection of a new member should be based on selecting the right person who has the best interests of the organization and who matches the organizational culture. Ideally the incoming ember could also work with the outgoing ember for a specified period to support some critical learning and also ensure a smooth transition

HR as an Effective Strategic Planning Partner

The best way in which HR can continue to be an effective strategic partner for the purpose of achieving future goals is by fully understanding the organization. That is by understanding what makes the organization a success and being part of that process of making it a success (Duncan, 2000).

Read also Strategic Planning Process Discussion – Sample Paper

For instance, in a hospital setting, it could be that the strengths of that hospital is the best possible quality care. The HR has to identify such a strengths and maximize on it. The HR should also get clear about how all the dots of the organization connect and operates together and what gets in the way of the organizations smooth operation. That is by fully understanding the strengths, opportunities and threats of the organization. By articulating such understanding while working by the organizations vision and mission, the HR can thus be considered to be an effective strategic partner.

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